Recently our first Vitalia store with a new retail concept opened. When we discussed the themes for the new store design with Vitalia’s in-house planner, the term attentiveness cropped up time and again. And it stayed in our minds. While the word sustainability is often used to mean just environment, resources and profitability, we believe attentiveness has much greater potential and is a much bigger lever. And do you want to bet that environment, resources and profitability will fall in place all by themselves?
Vitalia has recognised that people are the actual key to a truly sustainable approach to business. That is why they have placed their own staff at the centre of their plans. When things are going well for the sales personnel and the staff in their stores feel good, this automatically spills over to customers. It is not just a special shelf display that makes people feel good. It is the many tiny gestures of appreciation.
It is on this basis that Vitalia designed the stores. The reform movement of the early twentieth century was used as the main theme. The desire for healthier living conditions was at the time in harsh contrast to the widespread industrialisation. From this evolved modern architecture which, with its basic geometry, has a strong influence on the Vitalia concept. Mixed with organic forms and natural materials, which are reflected in the anthroposophical approach of health store products, this resulted in a store which at the same time is a place where people can relax. And the ideal platform for the sales team to approach customers with attentiveness and respect.
In the assessment criteria of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), sociocultural aspects play a key role as well as environmental, technical and process-oriented quality. The Marc O’Polo flagship store in Berlin was the first store certified by the DGNB in the tenant improvements category and was promptly awarded Gold. We played a prominent role in the development of the action plan and supported our customer Marc O’Polo in the certification process in an advisory capacity and as a store fitter. Our knowledge was a huge advantage when we designed the new offices for the followfish food brand in Friedrichshafen. The complete office building was awarded Silver certification by the DGNB and the interior finish should therefore also meet the criteria.
We can do more, we thought. And got enjoyment from examining two retail projects that had already been completed: Mode Retzlaff in Pfaffenhofen and Rad + Sport Schneider in Traunstein. During the planning and implementation phases the DGNB assessment criteria played no role at all. And although no particular attention was given to any of the aforementioned qualities, Retzlaff was awarded a Bronze medal and Schneider was even awarded the Silver medal.
We can do more, we thought again. And we programmed our own App so that our projects can be assessed at a very early design stage based on DGNB measures. The customer is integrated into the process and given guidance from the beginning. It often becomes apparent that deliberate – or attentive – planning does not necessarily have to involve more cost. If the concept is consistently geared to the needs of people, everything leads to a logical conclusion. Which pays off. As with Vitalia. Let’s return to the bet about environment, resources and profitability. There are three convincing results: plastic-free store fittings, a 15% reduction in the product range and a lasting increase in sales.
KNOBLAUCH. 100% GENUINE – 100% PEOPLE.